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CT - Segment 3: Little Scraggy to FS-560 Wellington Lake Road

Intermediate
 4.4 (17)

A smoother, rolling section of the famous Colorado Trail.


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Map Key

13.3

Miles

21.4

KM

92%

Runnable

8,298' 2,529 m

High

7,368' 2,246 m

Low

2,015' 614 m

Up

1,418' 432 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Section Of

Runner Notes

The trail is smooth and rolling and consists of small gravel, while mostly remaining singletrack. The trail is shared by bikers and day hikers but is quiet in general. In the area there are some small creeks but along this section things remain pretty dry. The gravel soil dries out pretty quickly so when other areas are muddy this area can be dry. It's very runnable and pleasant and not very steep or technical. With its proximity to Denver, it does get some moderate use.

Description

This section of the Colorado Trail is pretty level and rolling, with the exception of a dip/climb into and out of a valley approximately 9 miles into the route. It winds its way through pleasant ponderosa pine forests, making for an enjoyable outing on easier terrain. The largely shaded trail is smooth and gravelly and stays mostly singletrack in this section. The trail is shared by bikers and foot traffic but remains pretty quiet and secluded in general.

The trail is not overly steep, rocky or technical. Visitors will have plenty of access to scenic areas and views along the way, and can easily connect this trail to many other trails within Buffalo Creek, and surrounding wilderness areas. The trail does provide a nice, remote getaway. In the area you'll find interesting rock and boulder outcroppings, meadows and trails winding through areas where previous fires have exposed unique terrain to create an interesting landscape of downed trees, rocks and open grassy meadows mixed with pine forest.

This particular section does stay mostly wooded and is level at about 7,800 feet, until the end, where you'll climb to more like 8,000 feet. This trail is best in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler as the area can be warm in the summer months.

Once you leave the confines of Buffalo Creek, passing the Meadows Group Campground, the trail stays nestled in the pine-filled woods, but begins a grueling climb to its terminus at CT - Segment 4 (Wellington Road).

Flora & Fauna

Deer, wildflowers, pines, birds, and butterflies, all call this area home.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jeff Williams

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 17 votes

#1

in South Platte

#515

Overall
  4.4 from 17 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in South Platte

#97

in Colorado

#515

Overall
129 Views Last Month
5,640 Since Dec 11, 2015
Intermediate

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95%
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5%
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Photos

Segment 3. TREES! After scalding, barren Segment 2, this is a RELIEF!
Mar 31, 2019 near Pine, CO
Segment 3 of the CT. Stroll through the forest!
Mar 31, 2019 near Pine, CO
Segment 3. Good place for a tent!
Mar 31, 2019 near Pine, CO
CT Segment 3
Sep 16, 2017 near Pine, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 20, 2020
Mary Stone
Mostly smooth, rolling; lots of trees. Also lots of bikes today. 7.9mi — 2h 04m
Apr 5, 2020
Ricky Davis
Nice hike, but the trail was about 50% covered in ice and on the north slopes the going was slow. Took FR550 back to avoid the snow and ice. 25.5mi — 9h 20m
Jul 13, 2019
JonathanC
Jun 30, 2019
Jessica B
Felt great. Out and back 12mi — 1h 46m
Oct 7, 2018
Lynda Wacht
Jul 23, 2017
Bethany Demeter
10mi
Jan 7, 2017
James Lanciaux
XC skied out back from scraggly peak trailhead. Nice and smooth. No unbearably steep areas from where I was. 5mi